(b Brussels, Dec 10, 1870; d Brussels, Dec 21, 1950). Belgian musicologist. He was self-educated in both music and musicology, and worked at the Museum of Musical Instruments at the Brussels Conservatory, first as assistant curator (1896–1924) and then in succession to Victor-Charles Mahillon, the museum’s founder, as chief curator (1924–35). Concurrently he was professor of music history at the conservatories of Brussels (1912–35) and Mons (1917–35), and a regular music critic for Indépendence belge (1920–40).
Closson’s enormous output of books and articles reflects an open, independent and receptive mind, yet without any touch of naivety; his boundless enthusiasm was tempered by a proper appreciation of the importance of supporting speculation by fact. This is evident, for instance, in the exhaustive documentation of his study of Beethoven’s Flemish inheritance (1928). A preoccupation with Flemish or Belgian music informs many of his other writings (e.g. his monographs on César Franck, Lassus, Grétry and Gevaert), his anthology of popular Belgian songs (...